A marine technology expert claims he and his team could find the remains of the ARA San Juan, the Argentine Navy submarine that went missing in November, within 100 days.
Hugo Marino, the CEO of SEA Sistemas Electronicos and a commercial adviser to Norwegian firm Kongsberg, is a Venezuelan marine technology expert who was involved in the discovery of the Air France plane that disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.
Marino claims his team could find the remains of the Navy vessel if the Argentine government grants him US$3.8 million of the US$4.8 million currently on offer from the Defence Ministry.
A team of eight highly-trained engineers and specialised equipment could be used in the search effort, Marino told La Nación.
Relatives of the 44 missing officers mentioned the Venezuelan’s name at a recent Senate committee hearing.
On any contact made with relatives, Marino said: “We met with captain José Alberto Martí Garro, head of the Navy Amphibious and Logistic Command, and we spoke of the possibility of presenting an offer. Some relatives (of the 44 missing officers) found out about this and came to see me so I would address the Committee”.
However, he downplayed the importance of the money offered by the Defence Ministry to find the missing vessel, saying “We’re not treasure hunters”.
“We’re not interested in the compensation, in fact we made an offer with a budget of US$ 3.8 million to go down up to 4,500 metres. We are also motivated on humanitarian grounds”, he said.
Marino said he was confident his team could find the remains of the ARA San Juan “earlier” than the proposed 100-day period, which he calculated based on a surface area of 1,600 nautic miles and at a speed of 4.5 knots, including any possible delays caused by weather.